Alternate Reality vs. Augmented Reality Games: What’s the Difference?
Alternate reality and Augmented reality are two gaming concepts that are quickly increasing in popularity. In a world where technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace, the line between the real world and virtual reality continues to blur. Both AR and AR games provide exciting and unique experiences, but each concept varies in its delivery, making each respective experience unique.
Augmented Reality (AR) Games
Augmented Reality games work by overlaying game elements on the real world environment, which can be viewed through a mobile device, tablet, or any other AR-compatible device like smart glasses. The user gets to play the game while interacting with real-world elements such as streets, buildings, people, and more.
One of the most famous examples was the wildly popular game, Pokémon Go. The game required the player to navigate through real-world settings to collect and capture virtual creatures. By using their smartphone’s camera, players could see the virtual creatures superimposed on top of their everyday surroundings.
AR games are used to enhance the real-world environment with additional game elements, but still, show the world as it is.
Alternate Reality (AR) Games
On the other hand, Alternate Reality (AR) games take a completely different approach. Rather than augmenting the real world environment, AR games create an entirely new world. These worlds are usually accessed through a portal combining a phone, computer, or gameplay on a dedicated console.
Alternate reality games often have their own unique storyline, and the gameplay immerses players in this new world completely. Players must solve complex puzzles and complete tasks to progress through the story. Some of the most famous Alternate Reality games include Ingress and ARGonauts.
The fundamental difference between AR and alternate reality games lies in the concept of immersion. AR engages the user by enhancing the real world’s elements, while AR games transport the player to a completely different reality.
Comparing Alternate Reality and Augmented Reality Games
Both types of games have different approaches and cater to different player preferences. One may prefer the thrill of a game that blurs the line between the physical and virtual world, while others prefer the experience of being entirely immersing in a new game world.
In terms of device usage, AR games are more compatible with mobile devices as you can superimpose the virtual world over the real world using the camera. In contrast, AR games require a dedicated console, a computer, or a phone, essentially a tool to enter the alternate reality.
The gaming experience also differs as AR games tend to be casual and focus on exploration, while Alternate Reality games tend to follow a more linear storyline, demanding players to immerse themselves in specific tasks.
In conclusion, the decision to play an AR or an alternate reality game boils down to the player’s preference. An AR game enhances the player’s environment and presents opportunities to experience the virtual world amongst the real world. In contrast, alternate reality games offer an entirely unique experience, transporting players to a different space and time. Both concepts have their unique benefits and chills, and the choice ultimately lies with the user.